Close to turning a quarter of a century, the Idealista group aims for a new record for a Unicorn Spanish, as technology startup companies that exceed a billion valuation are called.
The Swedish fund EQT, the main shareholder of Idealista, is preparing its sale in the coming months for around 2.5 billion euros. This is practically double the 1.3 billion in which EQT value Idealista in September 2020 when it took control.
That operation was already a record for a Spanish technology portal and now it aims for a double record. The sale was brought forward this Monday by Reuters and EQT declined to comment without denying the information. The fund has hired the investment bank Morgan Stanley to proceed with the sale.
At Idealista they attribute the movement, if it finally occurs, to the usual practice of funds of not remaining for too many years in the companies in which they take a stake. In the specific case of EQT, they usually set a horizon for their investments of between three and five years.
According to its latest official data, EQT has 55.1% of the capital, while the Apax and Oakley funds add 16.6% and 11.6%, respectively. All of them control their shares from companies in Luxembourg, Therefore, the eventual departure of the three funds would not imply payment of the 2,500 million in Spain.
The rest of the shareholders, without any of them individually exceeding 10% of the capital, include, among others, the Spanish founders, the brothers Jess and Fernando Encinar and Csar Oteizawith the intention of remaining.
The three have always remained in the capital on a minority basis while funds came in as the company grew. The desire that the Encinar brothers convey to their team is to continue after a possible sale of the funds, since they still see ample growth potential for the portal through the development of new business areas.
The first major operation changing hands took place in 2015 when the Apax fund took the majority, valuing Idealista at 235 million. It was resold five years later with a value of 1.3 billion to EQT. but Apax surprised by re-entering the capital in 2021 paying 250 million for 16.6% of the capital. That is, Idealista is already valued at close to 1.5 billion.
According to EQT, Idealista is the leading real estate classified ads company in southern Europe.. It is in Spain and Portugal and occupies a position of practically co-leadership in Italy after the integration of casa.it into idealista Italia. According to the Swedish fund, Idealista occupies a unique position and describes the value of the brand as enormous.